London derby is a principal thing. How can you almost be champions and not win over your neighbors. We think, that Chelsea will show their best and win this match. Here’s why.
Firstly, the Hammers have some serious squad troubles: Antonio, Ogbonna, Carroll, Sakho, Tore and Arbeloa. If Sakho, Tore and Arbeloa have all-in-all three matches this season (insignificant losses), the second trinity are the key footballers of the club. Antonio has eight goals and three assists, Carroll has six goals. I.e. almost a half of West Ham’s goals were scored by these two.
Secondly, Payet’s departure. One hand, there is a positive moment, as the rat has left the ship. West Ham got rid of constant scandals, blackmails and negative attitude in the locker room. But West Ham lost a player of high class, even if he is a bad person, but he still was one of the leaders of the team’s offense.
Thirdly, if West Ham’s sharp, counter-attacking football made every game hard for the leaders and took away points last season, there are no such results for Bilic’s men this year. The team lost miserably 0:5 against City, and later 0:4 in the championship. They lost to Manchester United as well – 0:2 and 1:4. All three top derbies of the first half of the season were lost – Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Everything is clear with Chelsea. The team occupies the first position and doesn’t have any squad losses. All team leaders are in a great shape. Without taking into account the top five, Chelsea won 17 out of 19 Premier League matches.
The teams have already met twice this season. The first match within EPL was won by Chelsea 2:1. However, they lost the Cup match, although Conte’s position was in jeopardy, and the coach decided not to focus on a not the most prestigious League Cup and put out to play a half-reserve squad.
The mindset on such matches is always special, of course, as it is a derby. West Ham will try to spoil things for the Blues, but weak results in the games against the grands, squad losses and great performance by Chelsea must bring Conte’s men to victory. By the way, Chelsea won 15 out of 21 last matches against West Ham.
Prediction for the match: Chelsea to win with -1.0 Asian handicap.